CARERS - KEY FINDINGS
In SDAC, a carer is defined as a person of any age who provides any informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to an older person or someone who has a disability or a long-term health condition. This assistance has been, or is likely to be, ongoing for at least six months. A primary carer is someone who provides the most informal assistance to a person with disability with one or more of the core activities of mobility, self-care and communication. In this survey, a person can only be a primary carer if they are aged 15 years or more.
Almost 2.7 million Australians were carers in 2012 (12%), with 770,000 (3.4%) identified as primary carers (Table 33). This was a similar proportion to 2009, with carers representing 12% of the population and primary carers representing 3.6% of the population.
The 2012 SDAC found that:
- Females made up the majority of carers, representing 70% of primary carers and 56% of carers overall. (Table 36)
- Carers were most likely to be aged 55 to 64 years (21% of carers). (Table 36)
- Just over one third (37%) of primary carers had a disability compared with 16% of people who weren't carers. (Table 34)
- Around four in ten (39%) reported spending 40 hours or more per week providing care. This was more likely to be the case for female primary carers (42%) than male primary carers (33%). (Table 40)
- The labour force participation rate for primary carers (42%) and other carers (63%) was lower than that for non-carers aged 15 years or more (69%). (Table 37)
- Almost two thirds (65%) of primary carers resided in a household with equivalised gross household income in the lowest two quintiles, compared with 36% of non-carers. (Table 37)
- Primary carers were more likely to be the partner of their main recipient, compared to any other relationship (43%). Two thirds of male primary carers were the partner of the recipient of their care (65%). Female primary carers were just as likely to be the parent of the recipient (32%) as the partner (34%). (Table 39)
- Of the many reasons primary carers reported for taking on the role of the main informal care provider, the most common was a sense of family responsibility (63%). The next most common reason was a feeling they could provide better care than anybody else (50%), followed by a feeling of emotional obligation to undertake the role (41%). (Table 43)
For further information please refer to Carers